Brandy Talks Love, Marriage and Depression — Exclusive
Following personal and career setbacks, which had her on the brink of giving up, Brandy has made a strong comeback with her first album in four years, 'Two Eleven.' The effort, released in October, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. After overcoming severe depression, the singer says her current success has allowed her to regain lost confidence. “It shows you can realize your dreams," she tells TheDrop.fm. "You have to be patient with God and He will bring you to your destiny.”
The LP's title, 'Two Eleven,' has special significance because it represents both Brandy's birthday, Feb. 11, and the day her mentor, Whitney Houston, died. The last time Brandy saw Houston was three days earlier on Feb. 8, 2011, when Whitney came to her rehearsal for a Grammy Awards party, which was set for that fateful day, Feb. 11.
"The album is called 'Two Eleven' because it represents my rebirth and it solidifies my bond with Whitney, from my birthday to her passing," Brandy shares. "Now I have to make her proud. I feel she is with me and helping me fulfill my destiny.”
“Our last conversation was surreal,” she continues. ”I told her I was scared, wondering if I still had a place in music. She told me I’m a class act and nobody can be me, so stop trying to be other people. She made me realize I can still do this."
The 33-year-old songstress seemed destined for superstardom when she launched her music career with a self-titled debut album in 1994 -- the project went on to score quadruple platinum accolades. She also starred for six years as the title character of the TV series 'Moesha.' However, Brandy's career hit a tailspin in 2004. Her music sales dropped, and in 2006, she was involved in a tragic car accident, which led to civil lawsuits and large financial settlements after the driver of the car Brandy hit died.
“I wondered why this was happening to me,” she admits. “What I went through I wouldn't want to happen to anyone, even my worst enemy. I was on the brink many times, but I never gave into that deep depression.
"My daughter Sy'rai [she is now 10 years old] inspired me. There was a time I didn’t think I was good for her. I had to get it together. She helped me pull through. I wouldn't be here now without her.”
In addition to returning to the top of the music charts, Brandy is back on television starring in BET's 'The Game.' The Los Angeles native is excited about returning for the sixth season next year. “I love ‘The Game’ because my character Chardonnay is so ghetto fabulous," she shares. "I love the cast and I love the creative team.”
Brandy also has a movie role fans can look forward to in 2013. She'll star alongside Kim Kardashian and Vanessa Williams in Tyler Perry's next movie, 'The Marriage Counselor.' Though the chanteuse hasn't tied the knot with her current boyfriend, Ryan Press, just yet, she's ready for the moment when it arrives. “I had given up on love,” Brandy states. “I dreamed about it, and Ryan is even better than the dreams. I have a million reasons why he is the one but I can't put them into words."
She expressed her love for Press on one of her 'Two Eleven' singles, 'Wildest Dreams.' While she completed the challenge of turning her thoughts into a song, Brandy still felt the project was difficult to undertake. "It’s like the Anita Baker song, ‘Just Because’, when she sings, ‘I love you just because, I don't know, there ain't no explanation,’" she explains. "[Ryan Press] better be the one -- the way I have been talking about him. But I don't think it will turn out wrong.”
Watch Brandy's 'Wildest Dreams' Video